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    the adoption authority of ireland

    THE ADOPTION AUTHORITY OF IRELAND

    Welcome to the website of the Adoption Authority of Ireland. The Adoption Authority of Ireland is an independent body established on 1 November 2010 under the Adoption Act 2010. The purpose of the Adoption Act 2010 is to improve standards in both domestic and intercountry adoption. Legal adoption was first introduced in Ireland under the 1952 Adoption Act.

     

    The 1952 Act was enacted on 1 January 1953 and the Adoption Board was established under this Act.

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    Latest News

    • Drive Time Interview with Patricia Carey
      04 Jul 2022
      Drive Time Interview with Patricia Carey

      Patricia Carey was interviewed on RTE 1's Drive Time programme by Sarah McInerney on Friday 1st July 2022. Patricia and Sarah discuss the new Birth Information and Tracing Act, what actions can be taken now and what it means to those affected.

      To hear the playback of the interview please follow the link here.

      The clip is at 1:39:00 to 1:48:17

       

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    • Birth Information and Tracing Bill signed into Law and the new Contact Preference Register is now open to Applications
      01 Jul 2022
      Birth Information and Tracing Bill signed into Law and the new Contact Preference Register is now open to Applications

      Adoption Authority of Ireland Press Release 1 July 2022

      The Adoption Authority of Ireland has welcomed the commencement of the Birth Information and Tracing Act 2022 and invites adopted persons, parents and others affected by adoption to register their preferences in relation to contact with the Authority.

      The landmark legislation, which has been signed into law by President Michael D Higgins, provides legal entitlement to full and unrestricted access to birth certificate, birth, early life, care and medical information for any person who was adopted, boarded out, had their birth illegally registered, or who otherwise has questions in relation to their origins.

      The new law also establishes a Contact Preference Register, operated by the Adoption Authority, as well as a range of new bespoke measures to address issues arising for people affected by illegal birth registration. A broad spectrum of counselling and support is also available to persons affected on request. All of these services will be free of charge for applicants.

      A public information campaign has been launched by the Adoption Authority to inform people of the important services to be provided under the Birth Information and Tracing Act 2022. The campaign, which will run for three months, includes delivery of an information booklet to every household in the State and will use Ireland's embassy network to reach those in other countries who are affected by the legislation.

      From today, applications can be made to the Contact Preference Register by those wishing to make contact, to request privacy, or to seek or share information with a relative. The Act provides that the Contact Preference Register must be open for a minimum period of three months before applications for birth certificate and related birth information will be accepted. If a mother or father wishes to register a contact preference, they are invited to do so before the Information Service opens for applications in October 2022. When records are released only contact preferences recorded on the register at that point in time can be released. However, contact preferences can still be registered after that date. 

      Patricia Carey, CEO of the Adoption Authority of Ireland, said: "The Contact Preference Register empowers people to record their preferences in relation to contact with others and the sharing and receiving of information. 

      "The Birth Information and Tracing Act ensures that everyone is entitled to all their birth information held by the State, and the Contact Preference Register provides for varying levels of contact at which both parties are comfortable. It might be that someone is willing to share background information, they might be willing to communicate by email or letter, they might be open to a telephone call, or they might be willing to meet in person. Others may wish no contact at all.

      "Most families in Ireland have been touched by adoption at some stage. The Adoption Authority wants to use the next three months trying to reach as many people as possible - including those living abroad - to let them know it is now possible for them to find out about their origins. We also want to encourage all those eligible under the legislation to register their preferences on the Contact Preference Register".

      In early October 2022 both Information and Tracing services under the legislation will open. Applications for these services can be made to the Adoption Authority of Ireland and Tusla - the Child and Family Agency. A website, www.birthinfo.ie has been established for people seeking to make an application under the Act or seeking further information. 

      Ends

      For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Richard Burke, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. +353 (0) 86 816 7822; or Craig McKechnie, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. +353 (0) 87 621 8839.

      NOTES FOR EDITORS

      The Birth Information and Tracing Act, 2022 ensures, for the first time, that 'a relevant person' (adopted person, person who was, or suspects they were boarded out, nursed out or resident in a Mother and Baby Home or County Home and persons whose birth was illegally registered or they suspect their birth was illegally registered) can now apply for their birth certificate, birth, early life, care and medical information. Any items left for the relevant person such as letters, photographs and mementoes can also be applied for.

      This means that adopted people and others will be able to have records that show their name at birth, birthplace and date, as well as their parents' names, dates of birth and other details. Any records related to their health including details of vaccinations will also be provided.

      People affected by the issues under the legislation are invited to register their contact preference, or complete a new application to update an existing contact preference, on the new Contact Preference Register. If a person is eligible to register a preference, it's important to do so before the Information Service opens for applications in October 2022. Contact preferences can still be registered after that date. However, when an application for information is received, only preferences recorded on the register at that point in time can be released with the associated information. The tracing service can be used by relevant persons - parents, adoptive parents, birth relatives, other genetic relatives, or those who were carers in relation to a relevant person - to enable contact or the sharing or requesting of contemporaneous information. 

      Where the relevant person has died, their son or daughter will have the same right to information that relates to their parent, if the relevant person's parents (i.e. the applicant's grandparents) are also deceased. A next of kin can also apply for access if the relevant person dies while resident as a child in a Mother and Baby or County Home Institution.

      In cases where a mother chooses to have no contact, this will not prevent her identity from being shared, but her desire not to be contacted will be communicated.

      In cases where a mother chooses to have no contact, this will not stop adopted persons meeting or engaging with other family members, such as siblings or half siblings.

      A preference for no contact only gives the Authority the remit to communicate the preference and inform relevant persons of their parents wish for privacy. It does not prohibit other actions under the Act.

      ADOPTION AUTHORITY OF IRELAND

      The Adoption Authority of Ireland (AAI) is the central authority of adoption in Ireland. Established under the Adoption Act 2010, the Authority operates as an independent body under the aegis of the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY). The Authority's functions include those of an operational, judicial and quasi-judicial nature in relation to the adoption process as provided for under the Act, but also relating to the Authority's designation as the Central Authority for the 1993 Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption. In addition, the Authority has registration and regulatory functions for all adoption related matters in Ireland. 

       

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    • ‘Historic’ Birth Information and Tracing Act 2022 signed into law and first steps towards Information and Tracing Services commenced
      01 Jul 2022
      ‘Historic’ Birth Information and Tracing Act 2022 signed into law and first steps towards Information and Tracing Services commenced

      Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth

      Press Release 1 July 2022

      • Birth Information and Tracing Legislation signed into law by President on 30 June 2022.
      • Minister O'Gorman has commenced the legislative provisions to establish the new Contact Preference Register.
      • The new Register is now open to applications and can be accessed on birthinfo.ie. Applications may be made to the Contact Preference Register by those wishing to make contact, to request privacy, or to seek or share information with a relative.
      •  A Public Information Campaign, with a national and international focus, is underway to let people know of the important changes to the law. As part of this, an Information Booklet will be delivered to every household in Ireland.
      •  These steps pave the way for Information and Tracing Services will open in October 2022.

      Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, has today (1 July) commenced the first suite of provisions within the Birth Information and Tracing Act 2022, paving the way for Information and Tracing Services to open in October 2022. The steps taken by the Minister mean that a new Contact Preference Register is established from today and is open to applications.

      The legislation completed its final stage in the Houses of the Oireachtas in 22 June and was signed into law by the President on 30 June 2022.

      This landmark legislation provides a full and clear right of access to birth certificates, birth and early life information for all persons who were adopted, boarded out, the subject of an illegal birth registration or who otherwise have questions in relation to their origins. It also allows for access to information by a child of a relevant person where their parent has died, and for access by the next of kin of children who died in an institution.

      The new law establishes a robust tracing service and a Contact Preference Register, as well as a range of new bespoke measures to address issues arising for people affected by illegal birth registration. A broad spectrum of counselling and support is also available to persons affected on request. All of these services will be free of charge for applicants.

      From today applications may be made to the Contact Preference Register by those wishing to make contact, to request privacy, or to seek or share information with a relative.

      The Act provides that the Contact Preference Register must be open for a minimum period of three months before applications for birth certificate and related birth information will be accepted. Those affected, are encouraged to register their preferences in advance of October, when applications to the Information and Tracing Services will open.

      The Contact Preference Register will be facilitated by the Adoption Authority of Ireland, who currently has responsibility for the National Adoption Contact Preference Register. All entries currently held on that register will transfer over to the new Contact Preference Register and remain valid, however persons with entries already registered are advised to consider re-applying to the new register to ensure their contact details and preferences are up to date.

      A public information campaign also begins today to inform people of the important services to be delivered under this new legislation. This campaign will include delivery of an information booklet to every household in the country, and will have a local, national and international focus.

      A bespoke website with more information on the act, the services it establishes and the persons eligible to use them, goes live today and is available at www.birthinfo.ie

      Speaking on the new law Minister for Children, Roderic O’Gorman said:

      “Upon taking office, I made it clear that this legislation and the rights that it extends were a priority for me. I have spoken to many people affected by this legislation, and they told me about the impact the lack of access to that fundamental information about their own identity has had on them. I sincerely hope that this historic law finally provides the answers that so many people have sought for so long.

      “Unfortunately for some people, the information that exists may be limited, incomplete or inaccurate. This reminds us all of how important the support and counselling services in place for people will be.

      “We are determined to support people to answer questions that remain unanswered to date. In October, when all affected persons will be able to avail of these new provisions that will allow unfettered access to their birth information, we will be able to see the positive and hugely significant impact of this legislation.”

      ENDS

      Notes to Editors

      The Birth Information and Tracing Act 2022 (No. 14 of 2022) enshrines in law the importance of a person knowing his or her origins. It provides a full and clear right of access to birth and early life information for persons who have attained the age of 16 years. In summary, the Act provides for:

      • Release of the birth certificate, birth information, early life information, care information and medical information for all persons who were adopted, boarded out, the subject of an illegal birth registration or who otherwise have questions in relation to their origins (hereafter referred to as a “relevant person”);
      •  Release of the birth certificate, birth information, early life information, care information and medical information to the child of a relevant person in a situation where the relevant person and the parents named on the birth certificate are deceased;
      •  Release of information to a next of kin of a relevant person who died as a child in one of the institutions specified in the Act;
      • A statutory tracing service for persons wishing to make contact, share or seek information;
      • A Contact Preference Register, established in law, through which people can register their preference in relation to contact with a relative, as well as seek or share information;
      •  Counselling and other supports for those parents and relevant persons who seek it; and
      •   The safeguarding of relevant records.

      The Act also amends the Civil Registration Act 2004 and the Succession Act 1965 to address key issues arising for people affected by illegal birth registration. These amendments:

      • Provide a robust legal basis for the transfer of information from Tusla to the General Register Office, thereby vindicating the right of relevant individuals to an accurate birth registration.
      •  Provide the relevant individual with an entitlement to live under whichever identity they prefer (i.e. their accurate birth identity or the identity by which they have lived their whole lives) and to have their social parents recognised in law through the mechanism of a parallel register. Individuals will be able to opt to continue live by their social identity for the purposes of official identity documents such as passports, contracts, marriage certificates, declarations etc., without fear that this could be undermined by the confirmation of their incorrect registration.
      • Address inheritance issues arising for people affected by illegal birth registration.

      The Act also provides a basis in law for the work of a specialist tracing service to undertake a review of files flagged by Tusla as suspicious during the Independent Review and to provide expedited reviews for persons who hold reasonable suspicions that they may have been the subject of an illegal birth registration.

      The Birth Information and Tracing legislation will sit within the framework of the Irish Constitution and the GDPR. Importantly, it will strengthen and guarantee existing rights to information and complement the ability for people to access information under the GDPR.

       

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    Mission Statement

    " To ensure the provision of the highest possible standards of adoption related services, throughout the lifelong adoption process, with the best interests of children as the first and paramount objective."